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The nuances of Whisky appreciation and Saxophone playing!

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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2,424
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Hampshire
I started getting into Whisky (and bit of whiskey, but not so much, as yet) about 7 or 8 Years ago. Since buying my first bottle of Single Malt I've followed Ralfy Mitchell's Youtube blog. Ralfy's a bit of a character and cult figure on the Whisky scene and he's always got something to say. He's a bit of a Home spun Philosopher as well and prone to going off on tangents.. Over the past few Years he's adapted his style to review a Whisky (or other quality spirit) once a week (828 so far, and counting), followed by an 'Extras' vlog which is loosely based on Whisky but allows him to go off on a bit of a tangent. Always entertaining and something to learn!

Anyway, he posted the following last night, after previously reviewing a pretty expensive bottle of Blended Malt. He talks about the subtleties and nuanced experience behind developing ones taste in Whisky over time, in order to appreciate more expensive expressions. It's an interesting watch (well I think so anyway) and there's perhaps some relevance to other journeys, like, I don't know, learning the Sax, or appreciating music..

Or it's a Scottish Bloke blabbering on about Whisky, if you so wish ;) Either way it's a good way of spending a few minutes (IMHO) (He has his own unique style, for those who might view for the first time!)

Good health!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx2iVqkmjt8
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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I have 36 bottles of single malts in the drinks cabinet... Sadly, when my bottle of Macallan 18 yo is finished I will not be able to replace it - it's now way too expensive.
 

Wonko

Member
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536
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Belgium
Nice!
It sounds to me that he is explaining how he applies mindfullness (what I envision when I hear that word anyway) to Whiskey tasting and life in general.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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2,424
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Hampshire
I have 36 bottles of single malts in the drinks cabinet... Sadly, when my bottle of Macallan 18 yo is finished I will not be able to replace it - it's now way too expensive.

Yes, the Macallan is one to hold on to for as long as possible! For various reasons (mainly cost, I have to admit), my foray into Single Malt hasn't moved much past 10 and 12 Year Olds. There's so much variety and Quality in that age range. Moving on from standard 40% bottlings is a great way to get some more bang from the buck! Macallan, I guess, is the Selmer of Single Malt, so no doubt Price hikes are as much marque based as in any increase in quality.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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Hampshire
Nice!
It sounds to me that he is explaining how he applies mindfullness (what I envision when I hear that word anyway) to Whiskey tasting and life in general.

I think that's very much the case @Wonko . Ralfy also has another channel where he likes to talk about his Philosophy for life. He has some 'esoteric' ideas, which I don't always agree with, but on the whole he's a very interesting and knowledgeable chap!
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Yes, the Macallan is one to hold on to for as long as possible! For various reasons (mainly cost, I have to admit), my foray into Single Malt hasn't moved much past 10 and 12 Year Olds. There's so much variety and Quality in that age range. Moving on from standard 40% bottlings is a great way to get some more bang from the buck! Macallan, I guess, is the Selmer of Single Malt, so no doubt Price hikes are as much marque based as in any increase in quality.
The Macallan 18 yo always had a slight premium. So when most malts were about £25 a bottle, it was £35. Then when malts got to around £30 it was £50. My first bottle was the 1973 back in the early 90s and that cost me less than £40. It disappeared off the market and the next bottle I bought not that long later was a 1974/5.

My current bottle dates to around 2010 and was unopened until about 18 months ago. I paid about £60 for it. The 18 yo is now around £300 a bottle and I won't pay that for one. The 1973 re-appeared but it's now around £3,000 a bottle...

The cause of the hyperinflation of the price of the Macallan malts is Japan and China where it has acquired a cult-like status and they will pay any price for it. Meanwhile, those of us who are occasional drinkers of it and appreciate it are now left without it.

Sadly, Macallan seems to have moved to creating a never-ending series of 'niche' designer type styles with hefty price tags.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
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2,557
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West Midlands
I am into my malt whisky as well, not so many bottles as I used to own because of cost, but still got around 10 and one of them is an unopened bottle of Ardbeg 17years that I bought several years ago for £35 and now is worth £600- 700.
 

Ivan

Undecided
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Peeblesshire
Macallan doesn't light my fire, though I haven't tried anything other than their bog standard

Islay malts however...
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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Hampshire
Macallan doesn't light my fire, though I haven't tried anything other than their bog standard

Islay malts however...

Islay is a good example in terms of 'acquiring' experience in order to better appreciate the Spirit, especially the more Peaty and Smokey Malts which might not be the best starting point for a new Whisky drinker.

Although it's not a Peaty Malt, I bought a bottle of Bunnahabhain very early into my Malt Journey. I didn't like it much. There was something about it I couldn't get on with, so it went back in its box and was left alone for a few Years. I picked it out when I moved House last Year and it was delicious. So something has changed (granted it could be that my taste buds have deteriorated and my standards have lowered ;) )

I bought a bottle of Bruichladdich distilled Gin the other day. Lovely stuff!
 

brianr

Senior Member
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1,275
As a Scotsman, I’m always a bit wary of saying this.............But .......
I don’t like it........

Im big disappointment to the family!!!!

My English wife on the other hand loves the stuff.
When we are in the highlands we always seem to end up in a distillery in the middle of nowhere, and somehow the sales person seems to quickly assess her and we always seem to leave with “ a treat to remind ourselves of our holiday”.

I have a cousin who is keen. Along with about 8 friends they meet once a year and have a night of whisky. A different house/host every time. They all bring something new and have a “taste” of each. They also eat haggis , neeps and tatties.
No one goes home that night. They just crash out.
I went along once and the craic was fantastic. But I felt stupid sitting there with my bottle of rum . I haven’t been back.

I do love the idea of the whole “whisky experience” thing though, and would love to participate in my dotage.
Perhaps I just need to practice more.
 

Wonko

Member
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536
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Belgium
I started going to whiskey tastings from our local whiskey appreciation group a couple of years ago, not on a regular basis. I generally enjoy these gatherings, and I like a good whiskey. Don't like the peated taste though. One whiskey that we tasted was so good (complex taste pallet) that I could ignore my distaste of the smoke in it (Port Charlotte, Islay barley). Some others that I tasted were just smoke and nothing else.
In February we went to Scotland for the very first time and I managed to visit one distillery (Glen Ord). We'll go back to Scotland in July (hopefully travel will be possible by then). I've marked some distilleries in the vicinity of the places we'll be visiting, hope to be able to visit 2 or 3 distilleries.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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I visited the Glenturret distillery in '79, not so much for the whisky but to meet Towser.
 

saxyjt

Saxus Circus Maximus
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IMG-20200506-WA0000.jpeg

That's my last order... Usually hidden by a soundproof panel!

Just in case. But for now my kids are not approaching my stash! And God bless, my wife is not a fan of whisky... Or jazz, or sax!
 

saxyjt

Saxus Circus Maximus
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There are a few French Whiskys. Yet to try one. Have you?

Only once. From Rozelieures. It was a birthday present from my mother. I can't remember the details. :oops: But it was good. As far as I remember, it was the 'basic' Origine collection.

I drink too much to spend a fortune on rare whisky! But I'll probably try some other french ones someday. One of my ex-inlaws is a real whisky fan. He has a serious collection and manages to keep bottles for some time before they drop empty. I can't figure how he does that, because everytime he and my other inlaw met around a bottle of whisky, we drank them all to the last drop! :w00t: And he was not shy...
 

Ivan

Undecided
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Japanese whiskys are quietly thrilling if you allow for their stretch away from the core Scottish flavours/aromas
 

TootSweet

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Evilard Switzerland
Paul Desmond drank Dewar's. Lot's of, it seems. I bought a bottle, but still, it doesn't make me play like him.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
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3,098
Locality
UK
I like a nice malt, and have sampled many fine ones over the years - though in recent times my tastes have changed from preferring the Islay malts to the rather more gentler Highland offerings.
But being a cheapskate I baulk at the some of the prices, so tend to only buy the stuff if it's on offer.
However, I recently discovered Lidl whiskies and have been very impressed by the quality for the price - particularly their Ben Bracken Speyside. Worth a punt.
 

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